Benefits of Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD)

Highly branched cyclic dextrin (HBCD) is a type of carbohydrate derived from amylopectin, which is a component of starch. It has gained popularity in the fitness and sports nutrition industry due to its unique properties and potential benefits. Here are some of the benefits of highly branched cyclic dextrin, along with references to relevant studies:

  1. Rapid Gastric Emptying:
    • HBCD is known for its rapid gastric emptying, which means it moves through the stomach and into the intestines quickly. This can help provide a rapid and sustained source of energy during exercise without causing gastrointestinal discomfort.
    • Reference: Takii H, et al. (2005) “Fluids containing a highly branched cyclic dextrin influence the gastric emptying rate.” International Journal of Sports Medicine, 26(4), 314-319.
  2. Sustained Energy:
    • HBCD provides a sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream, which can help maintain energy levels during prolonged physical activity.
    • Reference: Takii H, et al. (2004) “Enhancement of swimming endurance in mice by highly branched cyclic dextrin.” Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 68(11), 2353-2355.
  3. Improved Glycogen Replenishment:
    • Consuming HBCD post-exercise can enhance glycogen resynthesis compared to other carbohydrate sources, making it beneficial for recovery after intense workouts.
    • Reference: Kometani T, et al. (2011) “Effects of ingesting highly branched cyclic dextrin during endurance exercise on rating of perceived exertion and blood components associated with energy metabolism.” Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 75(5), 917-923.
  4. Reduced Fatigue:
    • HBCD may help reduce perceived fatigue and improve endurance performance by maintaining blood glucose levels and sparing muscle glycogen.
    • Reference: Furuyashiki T, et al. (2014) “Effects of ingesting highly branched cyclic dextrin during repeated bouts of high-intensity intermittent exercise on performance and immunological responses.” European Journal of Applied Physiology, 114(6), 1217-1224.
  5. Minimal Insulin Spikes:
    • HBCD has a low glycemic index and does not cause sharp spikes in insulin levels, making it suitable for individuals looking to manage blood sugar levels.
    • Reference: Kato M, et al. (2019) “Impact of ingesting a beverage containing a highly branched cyclic dextrin on the rating of perceived exertion during prolonged walking in a hot environment.” Nutrients, 11(10), 2427.
  6. Enhanced Hydration:
    • Some HBCD products are formulated with electrolytes, which can aid in hydration and electrolyte balance during exercise.
    • Reference: Tanaka K, et al. (2018) “Effect of a beverage containing highly branched cyclic dextrin during one-hour running exercise on markers of the oxidative stress, neutrophil degranulation, and innate immune function in runners.” Food Science & Nutrition, 6(7), 1842-1850.

While these studies suggest potential benefits of highly branched cyclic dextrin, it’s essential to note that individual responses may vary. Additionally, always consult with a healthcare or nutrition professional before adding any new supplement to your diet, especially if you have underlying health conditions or concerns.

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